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Dry Lips

            In Dry Lips Oughta Move To Kapuskasing, Dickie Bird serves as a vehicle through which Highway expresses his opposition to the gradual decadence of the Native culture. Using intense imagery and symbols, all culminating in a gruesome rape scene, Highway effectively illustrates his message.
             In the drama's horrific climax, two profound, yet opposing symbols come together: the crucifix and Nanabush. Dickie Bird uses a cross to rape the woman; a symbol of Christianity: the essence of western civilization. His victim is Patsy, the only character who still truly rejects Christian beliefs for the traditional Native culture. In the scene, Nanabush actually appears as Patsy. The point is therefore further emphasized since Nanabush is a central idea to Native life. The horrendous act reveals Highway's point; it shows the western culture raping the Native one. Although Dickie Bird is seen physically, sexually assaulting Patsy/Nanabush, the meaning of rape is far more figurative. The result is Dickie Bird himself: the symbolic product of the "rape.".
             Highway creates Dickie Bird's ultimate breakdown in the rape scene, though the boy's delusion mounts throughout the entire play. Much like Zachary is in search of his shorts, or Pierre of his skates, Dickie Bird is desperate to find his biological father, a pursuit having much more human value. In other words, Dickie Bird searches for an identity.

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